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Canadian Science Policy Centre | Panel 8: “An Audit for Science! Really?”

Panel 8: “An Audit for Science! Really?”


The office of the Auditor General, will be presenting the findings of Canada-Alberta oil sands monitoring program, CEAA 2012, and marine navigation in the arctic. The need or the benefit of similar programs in science and technology will be discussed among panelists by answering the following questions;

Given the federal mandate for science and technology, what are the key things the federal government needs to do well?
Which federal activities regarding science and technology are working well?
For which federal activities regarding science and technology are there areas for improvement? If so, what are they?
What are the biggest risks to the federal activities around science and technology? What would be the impact?

To view the recently released 2014 Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, please visit:

Moderator Details

J.E. Halliwell Associates Inc

Janet Halliwell is the Principal of J.E. Halliwell Associates Inc, a company established to offer value-added services in policy and management consultancy relating to post-secondary education and science and technology, particularly publicly-funded R&D.
Recent projects include advising on, and chairing the majority of, the Outcomes Measurement Study reviews for the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI); design of a conceptual framework for the measurement of economic impacts for the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research; work with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council on research relating to the Digital Economy; policy and program development for the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) for the Tri-Council; and developing a handbook on the governance and management of “big science” for federal agencies.
Janet currently serves on the Board of Directors of Genome BC, the Fields Institute for Mathematics and the Advisory Council of the Cluster on Population Change and Lifecourse. In the summer 2008 she assumed the Chair of CASRAI (Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration). She also chairs the International Oversight Committee for the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging on behalf of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR).

In April 2007 Janet retired from many years of public service – serving in her final years as Executive Vice-President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), where she had responsibility for corporate affairs, including governance, strategic planning, government relations, and performance measurement. Janet also acted as Chief Operating Officer of SSHRC from September 2005 to August 2006 in the absence of a full time President.

From 1975-1996 Janet served the research and academic communities in other executive, management and advisory positions. She was Chair of the Nova Scotia Council on Higher Education (1992-1996), Chair of the Science Council of Canada (1990-1992) and an officer of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (through to 1990). In a consulting capacity from 1996 to 2001, Janet was active in a diversity of areas of science and technology policy.

Janet holds degrees from Queen’s University in Kingston and the University of British Columbia. She has received honorary doctorates from seven Canadian universities and is a recipient of the Walter Hitschfeld Prize for university research administration.

Panelist Details

Dr. Martha Crago
VP Research
Dalhousie University

Martha Crago is the Vice-President (Research) and Professor in Human Communication Disorders at Dalhousie University. Her previous university administrative positions include Vice-President of International and Governmental Relations at the Université de Montreal, the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Associate Provost (Academic Programs) at McGill University. Martha Crago is the Vice Chair of the Vice Presidents (Research) of the U15 group of Canada’s research intense universities.

Dr. Crago is founder and Chair of the Board for the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise. She is also presently the Canadian academic member of the federal government’s Joint Canada-Brazil Committee and of the boards of the Network of Centres of Excellence in Marine Environment Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) as well as the Ocean Network Canada. In addition, she has been on the Advisory Councils of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada and the National Research Council – Institute of Marine Biosciences.

At Dalhousie University, she chairs a variety of other research institutes governing councils and committees such as the Brain Repair Center Coordinating Committee, the Life Sciences Research Institute Governing Council and the Ocean Tracking Network Council. She has been an active researcher in language acquisition. Her work has been published extensively in scientific journals and books and she is the Editor-in-Chief of Applied Psycholinguistics published by Cambridge University Press. She was Vice President of the International Association for the Study of Child Language from 2007-2010.

Dr. Crago was named Chevalier de l’ordre des palmes academiques by the government of France in 2009 and Femme de Merite de Montreal in 2000. She is also the recipient of the McGill University Prize for her contributions to research.

Peter Nicholson
Chair, Standing Selection Committee
Networks of Centres of Excellence

Peter Nicholson is semi-retired after a career in the public and private sectors during which he was: the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Canadian Academies (2006-09), the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada (2003-06); Special Advisor to the Secretary-general of the OECD (2002-03); Chief Strategy Officer of BCE Inc., Canada’s largest telecommunications company (1995-2002). His career has also included senior executive positions in banking and the fisheries industry, as well as in the federal public service where, in 1994-95, Dr. Nicholson was Clifford Clark Visiting Economist in Finance Canada. He holds a BSc and MSc in physics from Dalhousie University and a PhD in operations research from Stanford University. Dr. Nicholson is a Member of the Order of Canada, and has been awarded honorary degrees by Acadia University, Dalhousie University, McMaster University, Queen’s University and Universite du Quebec. He currently splits his time between Annapolis Royal, NS and Austin, Texas.

Alan Bernstein
President and CEO
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Alan Bernstein became CIFAR’s President and Chief Executive Officer in May 2012.

Most recently, Dr. Alan Bernstein was executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise in New York, an international alliance of researchers and funders charged with accelerating the search for an HIV vaccine. From 2000 to 2007, he served as the inaugural president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada’s federal agency for the support of health research. In that capacity, he led the transformation of health research in Canada.

After receiving his PhD from the University of Toronto, and following postdoctoral work at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, Dr. Bernstein joined the Ontario Cancer Institute. In 1985, he joined the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, was named its Associate Director in 1988 and served as Director of Research from 1994 to 2000.

Author of over 225 scientific publications, Dr. Bernstein has made extensive contributions to the study of stem cells, blood cell formation (hematopoiesis) and cancer. He chairs or is a member of advisory and review boards in Canada, the U.S., U.K., Italy and Australia. Dr. Bernstein has received numerous awards and honourary degrees for his contributions to science, including the 2008 Gairdner Wightman Award. He is a Senior Research Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto and, in 2002, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Pierre Meulien
President and CEO
Genome Canada

Pierre Meulien was appointed President and CEO of Genome Canada in 2010.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Meulien was Chief Scientific Officer for Genome British Columbia (2007-2010), where he promoted the organization’s ongoing scientific strategy, focusing on the science of genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics within the larger realm of biotechnology and life sciences. He was also responsible for facilitating the translation of genome-based technologies into end-user communities across many life-science sectors.

From 2002-07, Dr. Meulien was the founding CEO of the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre (now Molecular Medicine Ireland), which linked the three medical schools and six teaching hospitals in Dublin to build a critical mass in molecular medicine and translational research. The Centre managed the €45 million “Program for Human Genomics” financed by the Irish government and was responsible for coordinating the successful application for the first Wellcome Trust-funded Clinical Research Centre to be set up in Ireland.

For 20 years, Dr. Meulien has managed expert research teams with organizations including Aventis Pasteur, both in Toronto (Senior Vice President of R&D) and in Lyon, France (Director of Research). He also spent seven years with the French biotechnology company Transgene in Strasbourg, France, as a research scientist and member of the management team.

Dr. Meulien received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh and held a post-doctoral appointment at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

Julie Gelfand
Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

Julie Gelfand was appointed as Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in March 2014. Before joining the Office of the Auditor General, Ms. Gelfand held the positions of Chief Advisor at Rio Tinto Canada and of Vice-President of Environment and Social Responsibility at the Rio Tinto Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC). Prior to joining IOC, Ms. Gelfand was Vice-President, Sustainable Development at the Mining Association of Canada and co-chair of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Centre of Excellence, under the federal CSR Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector. From 1992 to 2008, she served as President of Nature Canada. She also founded and chaired the Green Budget Coalition.